Gray Ratsnake

Pantherophis spiloides


Gray Ratsnakes are long, slender constrictors native to the southeast US. This snake can be found throughout Mississippi. Individuals are generally variable and may be brown, gray, yellowish, or greenish. A row of darker blotches extends down the back. Belly is light and often checkered black or brown. Ratsnakes are relatively common, often crossing roads at dusk or dawn, or entering agricultural facilities and buildings. 

Gray Ratsnake, De Soto National Forest, © Peter Paplanus

Identifying Traits

  • Long slender gray, brown, or yellowish body
  • Row of blotches down back and checkering on belly


Forests, grasslands, occasionally near water bodies (Behler & King, 1979)


Nocturnal hunters, occasionally seen active at dawn or dusk


Small mammals, birds, eggs

Young ratsnake found crossing a road, Forrest Co. (MS)